Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has been on a mission to make a Sangh Mukta Bharat. To fulfill his mission which is seen as a camouflage to keep Islamists in good humor, he renounced his long and successful alliance with the BJP. Now it turns out that the break-up of the JDU-BJP alliance has proved very expensive to the people of Bihar.
According to the figures released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), Bihar’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) decelerated by 5.88 percentage points in 2015-16 to 7.14 per cent in 2015-16 versus 13.02 per cent in 2014-15. Kumar has strongly contested the CSO estimate and asserted that the state was marching ahead on the path of development. In his bizarre ways, one wouldn’t be surprised if he goes motormouth like Arvind Kejriwal and imputes political motive to the CSO estimate.
If one goes by Kumar’s line of defence, he may appear already treading the path of distorting and confusing facts by quoting absolute figures without applying inflation deflators to these figures. He said: “In 2005-6 when the people of Bihar for the first time gave me the opportunity to serve them, the size of annual budget was Rs 22,600 crore which increased to Rs 1.44 lakh crore the in current budget for 2016-17…If somebody fails to see the economic development I can not help them. But, figures prove how fast the development has taken place in the state.” Do you notice his clever-by-half manipulation of figures which are in gross terms and not adjusted for inflation.
Likewise, he said, the plan expenditure was Rs 4,300 crore in 2005-6 which increased to Rs 53,400 crore in 2015-16 fiscal. Kumar claimed that the average growth rate of the state has been above 10 per cent at the constant price in the last 10 years.
Analysts fear that the GDP growth rate of the state would get a further knock in 2016-17 because of the state’s policy of liquor prohibition. It’s estimated that the liquor production, sales and services added at least two percentage points to the state economy, besides providing jobs to about two lakh people in a jobless state. But these things don’t matter to the state chief minister who believes that he could ride to the chair of prime ministership on the shoulders of women voters, funded by huge collection drive from bootlegging that has become rampant in the state following the imposition of alcohol prohibition.
By M K Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan